My friend Kay and I have pretty regular chats about comic books. She's stuck up in the mountains and gets behind on her collection a lot. She's also way behind on DC stuff, so whenever I break the news to her of strange current continuity, the result is either unhappy silence or whoops of stunned laughter.
For instance - I know that a lot of people have been upset by the way Batman, Grace and Thunder are being portrayed in the new Outsiders title. While I do think it's offensive and more than a little stupid, I also can't help but find it hilarious. Kay agreed with me at length and with her permission, I've transcribed our ramblings to the best of my memory.
Me: "So basically, they're saying that the World's Greatest Detective can't tell that Grace is bisexual and in a committed lesbian relationship with Thunder."
Kay (laughing): "You're shitting me! A 'special relationship'? Come on! Really?"
Me: "No, really! The Dark Knight - who we assume has been watching these people in his creepy obsessive way-"
Me: " - can't puzzle out why a giant tattooed woman who's about as subtle as a Pride Parade in SF is so 'close' to Grace."
Kay: "Riiiight. He just thinks they share the same bed because they're cold! And she just keeps slipping and falling onto Grace's vagina. With her mouth open."
Me: "Maybe . . . maybe he doesn't even understand what 'gay' means. Perhaps he has zero gaydar. Negative gaydar."
Kay: "Ooh. That's brilliant. Do you one better - maybe he doesn't even get what "sex" is. "
Me (as Kevin Conroy's Batman): "I'm not sure what she's doing to that man but I think it's some kind of slow torture. So much screaming- My God. His wee-wee is deformed! How? Some kind of toxin?"
Kay (as BTAS Robin, trying not to die from the giggles): "Uh, Bruce? Didn't Alfred ever tell you what 'sex' is?"
Me (still as Batman, faux-shocked): "What? NO! No time for that nonsense. He tried saying something about hair in funny places but I still had to learn morse code, Krav Maga and how to escape from a straitjacket in quick-drying cement! Now stop saying naughty bad touch words and help me figure out what's going on down there!"
Kay: "Wow! No wonder Zatanna and Catwoman are always so pissy."
Me (losing it as Batman): "Maybe it's the same stuff Poison Ivy slipped me! The stuff that gave my genitals Rigor Mortis and that bizarre pus-like discharge!
Kay (taking up my slack as Batman): "Followed by a strange sense of euphoria and lightheadedness!"
Aaaaaand we really just lost it to the giggles from there.
One man's foolish mischaracterization is another's comedy gold, people. We just have to learn to laugh at it all so we don't cry. A lot.